The Type Ia supernova 2004s, a clone of SN 2001el, and the optimal photometric bands for extinction estimation

K. Krisciunas, P.M. Garnavich, V. Stanishev, N.B. Suntzeff, J.L. Prieto, J. Espinoza, D. Gonzalez, M.E. Salvo, N.E. De La Rosa, Stephen Smartt, Justyn Maund, R.P. Kudritzki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


We present optical (UBVRI) and near-IR (YJHK) photometry of the normal Type Ia supernova (SN) 2004S. We also present eight optical spectra and one near-IR spectrum of SN 2004S. The light curves and spectra are nearly identical to those of SN 2001el. This is the first time we have seen optical and IR light curves of two Type Ia SNe match so closely. Within the one parameter family of light curves for normal Type Ia SNe, that two objects should have such similar light curves implies that they had identical intrinsic colors and produced similar amounts of Ni-56. From the similarities of the light-curve shapes we obtain a set of extinctions as a function of wavelength that allows a simultaneous solution for the distance modulus difference of the two objects, the difference of the host galaxy extinctions, and RV. Since SN 2001el had roughly an order of magnitude more host galaxy extinction than SN 2004S, the value of R-V = 2.15(-0.22)(+0.24) pertains primarily to dust in the host galaxy of SN 2001el. We have also shown via Monte Carlo simulations that adding rest-frame J-band photometry to the complement of BVRI photometry of Type Ia SNe decreases the uncertainty in the distance modulus by a factor of 2.7. A combination of rest-frame optical and near-IR photometry clearly gives more accurate distances than using rest-frame optical photometry alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-72
Number of pages15
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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